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The 4Ps of Successful Internships

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To get high school students ready for the business world, they need access to internships. Most companies target their internships at college students, but to truly get more students invested in a tech career, the industry needs to work with students long before they’ve embarked on a college education.

Internships are a powerful way to provide full immersion in the world of work with responsibility for real, necessary tasks that matter to an employer. They provide the experience that can prepare students to successfully begin a career in their chosen field.

To give that opportunity to more high school students, schools and employers can build upon the 4Ps of internship, as developed by the Creating IT Futures Foundation: project for the student to work on that's both challenging and valued, place for the student to work on the project, personnel who will care about and supervise the intern, and payment, preferably in monetary value, to the students for the work they do.
Employers and schools can collaborate to innovate the internship model so that it works for both the student and the employer. The Creating IT Futures Foundation has developed models for 4 types of internships that employers can implement to create student internships.

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The 4Ps of Successful Internships

  1. 1. Thinking Beyond the Traditional Internship Model MODEL 1: TRADITIONAL INTERNSHIP To get high school students ready for the business world, they need access to internships. Employers demand work experience when they are hiring, and internships are one of the most powerful ways to give students real work experience with valued projects. Employers and schools can collaborate to innovate the internship model so that it works for both the student and employer through... the 4Ps of internships. On-site Project Virtual Project At the employer's place of business In the traditional model, employers provide all 4Ps of the internship at their workplace. MODEL 2: SHARED MANAGED Not all employers can facilitate an internship on-site. The shared managed model allows for part of the internship to be handled virtually in cooperation with the employer's remote offices. MODEL 3: PARTNER Some large corporations can't supervise an intern on location. But they can coordinate with their local channel partners to offer student internships. MODEL 4: CONSULTANT Smaller businesses often are too small to have enough room or workload for an intern, but they can aggregate their projects with other small businesses through a school/district or other organization like a Chamber of Commerce. Project Place Personnel Successful Internship Payment Provided by either the sponsor or partner Personnel who will both care about and supervise the students Project for the student to work on that's both challenging and valued Payment to the students for the work they do Place PersonnelProject PaymentPlace PersonnelProject PaymentPlace PersonnelProject PaymentPlace for the student to work on the project Intern supervisor on-site On-site project of value to the employer Preferably monetary payment to the intern At the employer’s place of business Virtual connection: Project leader is at different location than the intern, but an internship manager is on-site with the intern Preferably monetary payment to the intern Managed by sponsor’s partner Sponsor’s partner location School/district or other organization Provided by a client, school/district or other organization Managed by school/district or other organization Paid by the school with potential contributions from clients Funded by a corporate sponsor but provided by the sponsor's partner; could be an on-site or virtual project Want more information on internship models? Check out the summer internships being developed with Chicago Public Schools’ Early College STEM School students at https://chooseyourfuture.cps.edu/early-college-stem-schools/ and stay tuned to the Creating IT Futures blog for best practices in workforce development and STEM education at http://www.creatingitfutures.org/blog.

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